Obama brings hope for boosting women’s role in sciences

The rise of “geek chic” in the White House could bridge the gender gap

President Barack Obama, an avowed supporter of the sciences, has brought hope to researchers who say now’s the perfect time to attract more women to a traditionally male-dominated discipline, the New York Times reports. Science and engineering typically have trouble attracting women: one survey of 160,000 American Ph.D. recipients showed that 70 per cent of male tenured professors were married with kids, while just 44 per cent of women were. What’s more, 12 years or more after getting their doctorates, tenured women were more than twice as likely than tenured men to be single. While women have made great progress—in 2006, 40 per cent of science and engineering doctorates in the U.S. went to women, compared to just eight per cent fifty years ago—more progress can be made, experts say. And with the rise of “geek chic” in Obama’s White House, it could be the perfect time to do it.

The New York Times